The corneal pain system. Part I: the missing piece of the dry eye puzzle

Ocul Surf. 2012 Jan;10(1):2-14. doi: 10.1016/j.jtos.2012.01.002. Epub 2012 Jan 8.


The traditional model of dry eye disease based on tear deficiency has presented us with many unanswered questions. Recent studies support the notion that dry eye-like symptoms represent non-specific corneal pain and provide new insights into the mechanisms that sustain the integrity of the optical tear layer. Thus, this enigmatic disease can be viewed with a new perspective, which involves the dysfunctional corneal pain system as a central pathogenetic feature of a series of disorders collectively known today as dry eye.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cornea / innervation
  • Corneal Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / physiopathology*
  • Eye Pain / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Hyperalgesia / physiopathology*
  • Nociceptors / physiology
  • Trigeminal Nerve / physiology